Theophrastus of eresus, Biology

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The Father of Botany (370-285 B.C.); of all the men who ever lived upon the earth certainly one of the most remarkable was Theophrastus of Eresus who was born about 370 B.C. on the isle of Lesbos (Modern Mytilene) in the Aegean sea and is regarded as the Father of Botany. Botanical science in its broadest aspects received tremendous stimulus in Greece under the leadership of Theophrastus and his disciples. Incredibly enough, only about one-twentieth of his voluminous writings were about botany, but his 'Historia Plant arum' is , the foundation of all we know about plants today, in which he classified and described about 480 kinds of plants, and gave accounts of woodland, marsh, lake, river and other plant associations. In this classic work he also indicated essential differences between dicotyledons and monocotyledons. Theophrastus became a student of Plato at an early age. Plato died when Theophrastus was only 22; after that he became a student and later a close friend and fellow teacher of Aristotle. When Aristotle died he bequeathed his manuscripts, books and botanic garden ,to Theophrastus who was then . 48 years old.

In his works, philosophy of Plato and Aristotle is clearly reflected. He classified all plants on the basis of form or texture; trees, shrubs, under shrubs and herbs, 'and - distinguished between annual, biennial and perennial. He also differentiated between centripetal (indeterminate) and centrifugal (determinate) inflorescences, recognised differences in ovary position, and in polypetalous and gamopetalous corollas.


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